An organisation, Youth Empowerment and Leadership Foundation, YELF, has called on the federal and state governments to make the Ministry of Youth Development more functional to align it with modern challenges affecting the youth.
President of the group, Mr Chinedu Ugochukwu at a press briefing in Enugu on Wednesday said the call had become necessary following efforts to integrate young people into government’s programmes.
He regretted that the current system had not been responsive to the plights of the youths, adding that with a population of over 70 million, the potentials of the young ones had not been maximised.
He regretted that the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, which needed to be their rallying point was constantly enmeshed in leadership crisis.
“The greatness of Nigeria depends on the quality of our youths and we suggest that governments at all levels need to overhaul the youth ministry for greater efficiency,” he said.
Ugochukwu said that government needed to engage experts and youth workers to drive the process of youth inclusion in governance.
“Governments at all levels should establish an identifiable communication channel with the various youth organisations.
“This can be done through the establishment of youth parliaments at the various states of the federation as well as at the center,” Ugochukwu said.
Also speaking, the secretary/programme coordinator of the group, Mr Chukwuemeka Uzu decried what he called government’s interference in the activities of NYCN.
Uzu said that the situation was responsible for the incessant leadership in the council, pointing out that a situation where over three persons would lay claim to the leadership of the NYCN was an embarrassment to not just the youths but also the nation.
“The council should be allowed to function without undue interference from government. We have continued to ask if the NYCN represents the interests of the youths.
“The programs of the council begins and ends within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while core issues are left unresolved at the grassroots,” he said.
The programme coordinator said that it remained to be proven if the Nigerian youth had been ennobled by the presence of NYCN in their locality.
“We appeal to governments at all levels to encourage the formation of parliaments made up of leaders of students unions, community and religious youth leaders,” he said.

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